Who doesn’t love showing off what they got at the mall? For some, showing off their shopping loot online has been catching on. They’re called haul videos and are popular with teens and twenty-somethings. You simply shoot a video of yourself showing what you picked up on your latest shopping spree and post it on YouTube.
Denisha Pena of Dorchester has been hauling for a year now. Her videos get a few hundred views and though she shoots her hauls in her bedroom, she likes the fact that she can broadcast them around the world.
“So we just thought if people like seeing everything that people buy and we might as well, if we like something, tell people what we buy, what we like about it and recommend it,” Pena says.
It might not sound like it would be riveting to watch, but people are watching and haulers are making money.
Take Blair Fowler, known online as Juicystar07 and considered a haul video queen. Her YouTube channel has more than six million views.
“Blair, I think she’s seventeen, and she just recently dropped out of high school to be homeschooled, so that she can produce hauling videos full time,” says Jason Rivera, the director of consumer insights at Amp Agency.
But Blair is not alone. Her older sister Elle, or Allthatglitters21, tends to focus on makeup and has more than 14 million views to her channel. These girls are now sponsoring contests, doing videos with celebrities, and even premiering music videos on their YouTtube channels.
“I don’t think it’s uncommon to really think that’s a far reach for a kid to really want to be in that space all the time and be really successful at it,” Rivera says. With all those subscribers, you get partner status on YouTube, meaning you get paid to put ads up on your page, but now it’s gone a step further.
Popular stores Forever 21, JCPenney, and American Eagle, are amongst the stores trying to cash in on hauling’s popularity. Some stores are paying haulers, or giving them gift cards to shop with, in return for posting haul videos. Since these girls have a built in audience, as a marketing tool, it’s a slam dunk.
“They’re getting other kids that are their same age to be just like them. They have very likeable personalities, and the stuff that they’re showcasing is something that everybody wants,” Rivera says.
Though the Federal Trade Commission has new rules for those who are getting paid to shop.
“The new standards that they put in place have made people really clarify that, ‘Oh, I’ve gotten this for free, or these people have given me stuff that I’m going to review,’ they need to be really clear and upfront,” Rivera says.